We’ve still got a few more weeks of soup weather before we can switch to Spring salads. While you’re making winter soups, you may want to consider making an extra batch to start, or add to, an emergency food supply. Soup is comforting, and re-hydrating it with hot water brings it right back to its original flavor and consistency. When freeze dried, it’s light and compact – perfect for camping meals, too.
Root vegetables are still plentiful at the grocery store, and pretty soon you may even find them on sale as produce bins start to give way to other seasonal vegetables. Snap up any bargains you find and get your soup stash made for next winter. We’ve been experimenting with hearty soups all winter. We’ve learned that you really can make a delicious soup out of almost any leftover vegetable or meat entree. Start with a good vegetable or chicken stock (or bouillon cubes in a pinch), and add diced vegetables and small-bite pasta or rice. If you have leftover chicken breast, steak, or meatballs, just pop them in to simmer.
To freeze dry soup, pour cooked soup on the freeze drying trays and process. Break the freeze dried soup into small chunks and store in an airtight container until you’re ready to use. Stored properly, freeze dried food will last up to 25 years, so homemade soup is a great staple for your emergency food supply.
To re-hydrate soup, just add hot water until it returns to it’s original consistency.
Here’s one of our favorite soup recipes to get you through the last bit of winter. This version is vegan, but you can add cream and / or cooked chicken if you like:
Dairy-free Corn Chowder
- 1 bag frozen corn
- 2 large potatoes in 1″ dice
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 stalks celery, washed and chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken stock)
Put the potatoes in a pot of boiling water and let them boil until soft. In a stock pot, saute’ onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Reduce to medium heat and add vegetable or chicken stock, corn, carrots, celery, bell pepper, salt, pepper and oregano. While the vegetables simmer, drain cooked potatoes and transfer to a blender or food process. Blend until smooth. Begin to add potato puree to the soup until it’s thickened. If you want a traditionally creamier soup, leave the potatoes in a 1″ dice and add to soup with the vegetables. Add 1/2 cup of heavy cream to make the soup a traditional chowder.